Thursday, June 30, 2011

Tiny Technology

As you may remember, I got an iPod Nano for Christmas.  This little postage stamp size miracle holds all of my favorite songs for walking, plus pod casts, and has an FM radio, which I use at soccer matches for listening to our favorite radio commentator while watching the play on the field.  I plug in one ear and follow along with the stadium chants with the other. 
Last week, son Jake got a song stuck in his head over some comment made, and wanted to hear the lyrics.  I said, "I have that on my iPod". 

In order to hear it I had to plug him in with the ear buds, because I don't have an external speaker system for my iPod and I don't have the right cable to plug it into the stereo.

I got to thinking that a speaker system would be good to have.  Our tuner is old and not easily compatible with new jack systems, so I went on line to see what I could find.

I found this!  I ordered it from Amazon and it arrived yesterday.

It's a small, zippered case that the iPod fits into and plugs into.  It has a rechargeable battery and plays about two hours on a charge.  It can be recharged by plugging it into a computer, or I can use my iPod adaptor and plug it right into a wall outlet.

So here you have it:  my mini-computer, my mini-music player, and my mini -speaker system.

Cool, huh.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Finally. Roses! And Other Pretties Too. Nature Notes

The Paul's Himalayan Musk rambling rose is coming into bloom in the cherry tree.

 And the shrub roses are finally beginning to bloom, too.

 Add to that peonies, poppies, fox glove and columbine, and June is going out in a burst of color in my garden.

Even the vegetable patch is taking off.

We mowed and edges the lawn today so everything looks especially tidy.  Mother Nature has been supplying the watering so far.

As the song goes, "the  greenest greens you've ever seen are in Seattle".  Not always true about the "bluest skies", but when we get them, they are wonderful.

Nature Notes @

Monday, June 27, 2011

A Quiet House

We were up this morning at 4:00AM.  I said good bye to Jill and the kids and Tom took them over to the airport for their 6:00 AM flight back to Denver.  We went back to bed and got up again just before 9:00.  By then Jill and the kids were already on the ground and on the way home.

We took our time getting going, but once we did get going, we really got busy.  We worked through mountains of sheets and towels to launder, toys and books to be sorted and stored, bathrooms to clean, and vacuuming and dusting and mopping throughout the house.  By late afternoon we were finished, and too tired to care too much that the house was very quiet.

Still, I miss them.

Then kids are spending the night with their other grandma, and tomorrow they are all going camping for two nights.  Tonight Jill is enjoying the quiet.

We'll now settle back into a sort of routine, as routine as it gets around here. There are yard projects to do, and Tuesday evening we have another soccer match to attend, this time a preliminary to defending the US Open cup.  It will be played at the much smaller Star Fire sports complex.

I was looking forward to spending a bit of time on the patio this afternoon, given the forecast.  But alas, persistent showers dampened that plan.  I guess the recliner will have to do for now, once I get my exercises done, that is.  It's time to get back to that routine too.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sunday Morning

The kitchen table was the scene for a big breakfast this morning, with eggs, sausage, hash browns and blueberry coffee cake.  There's not much left of the coffee cake.

That has been cleared away and the table in now the staging area for preparing to go to a 1:00 Sounders match back at the stadium.
No rain ponchos this time!  Now we're packing sun glasses, visors and sun screen.
Everybody's getting geared up, including face tattoos.

Also going on is collecting.  Items that were scattered all over the house are being corralled into a packing center.  Today is the last day of their three week stay for Jill and the kids.  They leave early tomorrow morning on a flight back to Denver.

Since Thursday we've been busy as usual.  On Friday Isaac got his free haircut, thanks to Super cuts and the fact that the Sounders scored three or more goals in the last match.
 Irene baked strawberry short cake in the play house
and then served it out in a brief sun break.  Isaac, called from playing in the house, expected real food.  So I compensated with a few cookies I had in the freezer.
We also used the light house cookie cutter we bought at Cape Meares to make light house cookies.  They are tasty and tempting, sitting on the kitchen counter.  We have about half left. What's left when the kids leave will go into the freezer to await their return visit in just less than a month!
And now it's time for me to gear up and spend a few more minutes in the play house before we head to the train.

Friday, June 24, 2011

A Family of Sounders Fans

Thursday evening we all geared up and headed to the stadium for a Sounders soccer match.
At Occidental park we met up with Cousin Scott and we gathered for the March to the match.

Pre-game activities included a chance to pose with the two US Open Cups the Sounders have won the last two years.
 Irene likes glitz.
Before the first kick, we enjoyed stadium hot dogs.  Where we sit in the All-Inclusive North End, food is included with the ticket price.  Free hot dogs taste pretty good.  Isaac also had two bags of pop corn.
 Jill and Jake were across the field in the Emerald City Supporters section.  They lead all of the chants and songs.
 The management opened up the whole stadium for this match and the result was 46,065 in attendance.
 And the game result was to our liking.  Victory.
As Irene said upon heading for the train, "What a night!"

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Part II: Running Away To the Sea, and Other Places

Whatever was not working with Blogger this morning is working now, so here is the rest of our trip to Oregon.

Friday morning found us back at the Garibaldi bakery, where Jill loaded up again. 
Then we went to visit the trains at Lumberman's Park, across the street from the bakery.  This is one of those "must do" stops, which my kids always required, and now so do the grand kids.
On to the Blue Heron Cheese Factory, and the petting farm.

And then to the Tillamook Cheese Factory to watch the famous cheddar being made, and then have an ice cream lunch. With all of this eating, yes, I did come back two pounds heavier, but I've already taken them off and am back to counting calories.
The north jetty at Tillamook Bay was rebuilt last year, which means instead of boulder hopping, it's easy walking.  That's where we went next, to enjoy a mild, sunny morning with almost no wind, a rare combination here.

Yay!  We made it.  In all of my time spent here, this is the first time I've walked clear out to the end.
Back at the cabin it was beach time. There was just enough breeze to fly the new kites.

 And of course, the kids were back in the surf.
And we had another evening beach fire.
Saturday was rainy, so we spent more time in the cabin.  I actually cooked breakfast, but Jill did still make a bakery run, donuts to go.  Saturday evening we packed up, cleaned up the cabin, and headed inland, over the Coast Range Mountains, to the Willamette Valley.  We stayed in a hotel so we would be ready for a full day on Sunday. 

It was time to visit my mother, Jill's grandmother, the kids' great grandmother, in her new digs.  Irene was very anxious to check out the new apartment, and Isaac wanted to see if she still had some of her owl collection.  They both thought the place passed inspection. 

Then Irene sat down to tell Grandma all about her adventures.
We went for a little walk around the complex and posed for photos.

The kids wanted a chance to say good bye to Grandma's house, and ride once more on the tire swing in her yard.  They liked it that it was just across the street from Grandma's new home.
A highlight of visiting Molalla is a trip to Shady Dell and the train park.  The line was short and the wait wasn't long.
 Chug-a chug-a, off they go.
There were lots of locomotives in use that day, and Irene got to ride most of her favorites,
 But, alas, not Thomas.
We stopped by to see Mom once more before heading back to Seattle.  It was another wonderful Oregon vacation.